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Centre researchers Oonsie Biggs, Timon McPhearson, Albert Norström, Per Olsson, Garry Peterson and Victor Galaz are part of the team that won the 2019 ESA Innovation in Sustainability Science Award for their 2016 study Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene which was published in 2016 in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
The Innovation in Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of a peer-reviewed paper published in the past five years exemplifying leading-edge work on solution pathways to sustainability challenges.
The study, lead by Elena Bennett from McGill University, Canada, analyses 100 initiatives that can serve as inspiration for a more sustainable Anthropocene, the new geological epoch which recognizes that humans are profoundly altering the functioning of the Earth's climate and ecosystems. These initiatives, or seeds as they are called, are part of a larger compilation of cases collected via the study website, Seeds of good Anthropocenes.
In their award motivation, ESA states that "Bennett and colleagues provide compelling examples drawn from around the globe of concrete ways to improve sustainability and resilience through environmental innovations, reconfigurations of social-ecological relationships, and effective engagement with local stakeholders."
Centre co-author Albert Norström is both surprised and pleased with the prestigious award.
"This is a massive recognition for the project but also unexpected, considering it began as a very experimental idea and forced many of us to work outside our comfort zone. At the same time, the award is not surprising considering the project has generated considerable excitement and energy over the years."
Centre researcher Thomas Elmqvist is among the recipients for a second ESA award, the Sustainable Science Award, for the 2016 study Advancing urban ecology toward a science of cities, published in BioScience. The Sustainability Science Award recognizes the authors of the scholarly work that makes the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.
The Bioscience study, which was lead by centre associate research fellow Timon McPhearson, answers the question: how can urban ecology help our cities become more sustainable? The answer, according to the study, is better interdisciplinary collaboration and a renewed focus on bringing research into various aspects of urban planning, architecture and design. Only then can the research provide insights that take into account the many complex interactions of a city.
In their award nomination, ESA states that "McPhearson and colleagues provide an international perspective on how ecological research focused on urban areas can improve sustainability."
Both awards will be presented during the ESA's annual meeting in August 2019. Read more about the ESA awards here
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